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spiritmachine
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Last seen: 5 days 11 hours ago
Joined: Feb 7 2013 - 8:30am
Building a vinyl system

Hello, I have a basic setup at this point consisting of a vintage panasonic turntable, a 1970s sansui receiver (rated at 40W per channel) and two new energy veritas v-5.1 bookshelf speakers rated for a max 175W rms. It seems that the receiver doesn't really have enough power for these speakers. At the low end they just produce very muddly base and although they sound good at low volume I can't really crank it up without getting distortion. I hooked the system up to my modern receiver with 120W per channel and the sound was night and day. I do prefer to tonal quality of the vintage amp but obviously it is underpowered.

Questions:

1. How much power do I need to get the most out of my energy veritas v-5.1 bookshelf speakers rated at 175W rms. Is it ideal to shave an amp that makes 175W per channel?

2. Are there any readily available vintage amps that produce enough power for <$300?

3. Right now I am plugging the turntable into the phono input using the integrated pre-amp of the receiver. Would it be beneficial to get a seperate phono pre-amp?

Thanks!

Demondog
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Joined: Feb 22 2009 - 5:01pm
Hi

Your post reminds me that there are some common misconceptions about speaker wattage ratings. In my opinion, the wattage rating of speakers tells you almost nothing about how the speaker will perform, and very little about what amps it will perform well with. The wattage rating is the manufacture's way of saying that if you connect those 175 W speakers to a 400 wpc amp, and turn the volume to the max, well then they could say "I told you so" when the speaker goes up in smoke. The fact is that if you know how to properly use a volume control knob, and the speakers are not in the $69.95 computer speaker category, then you can use much larger rated amps just fine.

It's been said many ways, many times, but I think of it as Distortion Kills Speakers! Sure you can feed a speaker too much power from a high current amp over a period of time, which could overwhelm the speakers ability to dissipate heat. The speakers windings will heat up, and then you might smell smoke. But most decent speakers are designed to handle the heat generated up to the point where they reach their designed maximum SPL.

But once the speaker, or ESPECIALLY THE AMPLIFIER begins to distort, there will be a much larger damaging amount of energy being fed to the speaker. THERE IS A CURE. turn the volume control down.

As for your 1st question, 175 watts rms is a pretty high number, so it gives me the impression that Energy thinks the speaker can handle a good amount of power without damage. Doesn't mean it will sound good at that level. But a far more useful number is the sensitivity number (90 dB in this case) which actually tells you how much wattage you'll need for a given sound pressure level, if you do the math.   Try this  http://www.crownaudio.com/elect-pwr-req.htm

I think that you already have your answer though. You indicated your speakers sounded good(?) with the 120 watt amp.

Question 2.  You'll have to shop around I think.

Question 3. Whether it's beneficial depends on how bad the current built in phono stage is, and how much you are willing to spend to make sure you get one that sounds better. You may or may not notice much of an improvement.

commsysman
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Joined: Apr 4 2006 - 11:33am
AMPLIFIER

Well, the Sansui receiver is way underpowered, never sounded very good when it was new, and basically sucks...lol. Put it in your fishing boat as use it as an anchor.

I.m not sure which speakers you have, because Energy has made a bunch of 5.1 speakers with the Veritas tag on them. In general, though, I don't like the sound of most Energy speakers very much. (IMO they are way down below many others in sound quality).

PSB, KEF, and Monitor Audio make some good-sounding speakers.

The key spec on a speaker is SENSITIVITY which is expressed in db/watt) at 1 meter in front of the speaker. The maximum wattage rating is pretty much meaningless. I can't find any spec for your speakers because I don't know what they are exactly.

In general, though, a sensitivity rating of 87 db/watt or lower will require over 60 watts per channel for much sound output. ratings nearer 90 db/watt are better and don't take as much power.

Phono preamps that are built-in to receivers are invariably from mediocre to fair; not the thing for good sound quality. One of the best phono preamps for under $500 is the Musical Fidelity V-LPs, which goes for $189. I recommend that you get one if you want good vinyl sounds.

You didn't say what kind of receiver you have, so I can't make any comment about its sound quality. Vintage amps are a can of worms; you don't seem to understand what is required to overhaul and restore them, so my advice is don't go there.

My advice would be to get some better speakers and a good phono preamp. That would be the most efficient way to get a significant improvement IMO.

After getting some good speakers and a good phono preamp, you might also want to look into the Harmon-Kardon 3490 receiver, which is less than $400 and is a very good-sounding unit with lots of power.

 

 

 

spiritmachine wrote:

Hello, I have a basic setup at this point consisting of a vintage panasonic turntable, a 1970s sansui receiver (rated at 40W per channel) and two new energy veritas v-5.1 bookshelf speakers rated for a max 175W rms. It seems that the receiver doesn't really have enough power for these speakers. At the low end they just produce very muddly base and although they sound good at low volume I can't really crank it up without getting distortion. I hooked the system up to my modern receiver with 120W per channel and the sound was night and day. I do prefer to tonal quality of the vintage amp but obviously it is underpowered.

Questions:

1. How much power do I need to get the most out of my energy veritas v-5.1 bookshelf speakers rated at 175W rms. Is it ideal to shave an amp that makes 175W per channel?

2. Are there any readily available vintage amps that produce enough power for <$300?

3. Right now I am plugging the turntable into the phono input using the integrated pre-amp of the receiver. Would it be beneficial to get a seperate phono pre-amp?

Thanks!

teegood64
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Last seen: 8 months 1 week ago
Joined: Feb 5 2013 - 7:09am
Vinyl Upgrades

Hi Spiritmachine,

I have been finding my way with setting up a system in the past months and understand what your going through. 

Couple things that you may want to think about, or delete, whichever you prefer!

I probably spent $300 on records in the past 3 months. While I have what others consider to be a crappy turntable (Stanton T.90), it had been enjoyable spinning records again and it gets others involved...especially women. I have been using a NAD 7100 receiver (1990 style), and before that a Harmon Kardon 670 Twin (1978 style). It was obvious that spinning records sounded better using the Harmon. Unfortunately, there were two issues with the Harmon. One, it started crackling when I turned just about any knob. Yes, I got a can of DEOXIT and will open it up and spray it, but I listen to music a lot and I realized buying old gear could mean becoming an apprentice in electrical engineering on between listening sessions. Two, I like my music loud and the NAD really did provide punch. I have a fairly large room and acoustically I require pushing 4 speakers, cannot use towers (too low to the floor), and all speaker need to be up high. My point? I put the sweet sounding old gear idea behind me and decided to stay around 1990 and up. It actually means you will spend less money as the 70's gear is sought after because older baby boomers like myself had those receivers in the day...and want them back! Now back to the spending of $300 on records...

I realized that all my friends and partygoers who dropped by had these icrap handhelds. They all wanted me to listen to something they pulled off youtube or had pulled from itunes. I also had about 60 gigs of music in my computer that I had no means of being able to play on my system. So I purchased a Yamaha CD-S300. It has a USB port that using a standard iphone charger cord, allowed those Apple knuckleheads to hook into the system and play their funny fart ringtones at maximum loudness. It also allowed me to put my music on SD Cards and using the remote go through the folders. While it may not be hooking up a computer to your home system (I am resisting that), it actually was a lot better than I thought although I had to print out a paper "index" so that I knew where to find certain music. 

Now back to the spenind of the $300 on records. The DAC (Digital to Analog Converter) in the Yamaha makes everything (CD's, Apple Junk, SD cards) sound warm like records. Since I purchased the Yamaha, I have turned the turntable on only a couple of times, mostly to please those that say, "how does it work??" and "can I do it??". Yes, there are those that have Pro-Ject turntables, expensive TT preamps, $200 cartridges, and whatnot..that yes, will most likely sound better. Not going to argue that spending more money makes everything sound better.

Personally, and I am saddened by it. I have come to realize that the DAC may put too death the vinyl record. Surely people will disagree, especially those that have spent a lot of money on turntable stuff or have thousands of records. Records will always be worth something. But when I go to buy an album $20 vs. a CD $12, and then burn the CD and sell of the CD for half the price on ebay...I dunno..it allows me twice as much music in my collection at half the cost. I am no longer able to rationalize that the $20 nets me a better sound.

The Yamaha DAC is just a small tip of the iceberg. There are better DAC's out there, but some do not have the USB port to play SD cards and most are a fair bit more expensive. My suggestion is to start with a DAC to see where you are at, too better understand where you want to end up. You do not have to sell off your records. I'm not, because I have music on records not available on other format (yes I know I can burn them via my turntable but love spinning vinyl as its a mechanism to get others involved - its sooo old school!!), but I will not be spending $300 again on records anytime soon.

Hope that helps, T

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